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Director of Strategic Workforce Development at HEART Trust/NTA, Robert Green, has proposed that the Education and Youth Ministry establish an institution that will primarily assist students who have behavioural problems.
He said that while the Ministry is currently making strides with programmes that are put in place to deal with students who have behavioural problems, the institution would better serve to assist more of them.
“I would like the Ministry of Education to consider a special type of institution .where children with specific challenges are nurtured by behaviour modification specialists who have the competencies to foster the changes that are necessary in these children,” he said.
Mr. Green, who was the Centre Manager for the second segment of the National Youth Service (NYS) summer ‘Success Camp’, made the proposal at the graduation ceremony for participants, at the Garvey Maceo Comprehensive High School in Clarendon on August 30.
The ‘Success Camp’ forms part of a two-phased year-long behaviour modification programme, which is spearheaded by the NYS. The programme targets students aged 13 to 17 years, who display anti-social or violent behaviour, particularly in the school environment.
While making the proposal, Mr. Green said the NYS was an exemplary organization as it sought to assist young people who have behavioural problems, through programmes such as the ‘success camp’.
He noted that the programme was working and, as Centre Manager, he was pleased with the outcome of the camp, pointing out that he has seen evidence of positive changes in the students on their completion of camp, compared to when they first arrived.
Encouraging the graduates at the function, Minister of Education and Youth, Maxine Henry-Wilson said that they should see themselves as “beacons”, whose responsibility it is to maintain the positive attitudes and behaviours that they have learnt, even as they return to their schools and communities.
“You will find times when you are provoked and you will want to go back to the things that you used to do.but the most important thing is for you to ‘catch yourself up’ and say ‘no, that’s not what I am supposed to do’. And all the various values that you learnt here, you will now have to put them into practice.such as how to resolve conflict without resorting to violence,” she said.
The Minster also implored parents to become positive role models in the lives of their children, by living by the principle of ‘do as I do’, rather than, ‘do as I say’.
Reflecting on the camp, Jelani Grant said that he was proof that the programme was indeed a “success”.
“Personally, I came to this camp a distracted, angry and disinterested young man. This camp has helped me to regain my focus and re-kindle my passion for excellence and my family and my school can expect a changed person coming back to them,” he added.
The first phase of the behaviour modification programme comprised two camps, which accommodated a total of 190 students. The first camp was held from July 10 to 31, while the second was held from August 10 to 30 at the Garvey Maceo High School in Clarendon.
The programme exposed students to a wide range of areas, including anger management, conflict resolution, personal development, behaviour management, problem solving, life skills training, communication skills, as well as sporting activities. The second phase of the programme will begin in September and will provide further support for the students as well as their parents.
Activities in this phase will include enrichment and parenting workshops, a mentoring programme, periodic school visits and a post referral counselling programme.
A number of the participants left the camp with awards. The award for most outstanding male and female students went to Michael Small and Georgia Bonner respectively, while ‘runners up’ were Davian Williams and Marion Ffrench.
Delroy Barrett and Cadease Thompson each copped awards for most disciplined student, while Phillip Moffat and Chantal Mead received prizes for most improved students. The award for being the most helpful student went to Kemar Dawkins, while the coveted trophy of Spelling Bee Champion went to Davian Jonas.